From plainsong to Penderecki, this film for Remembrance Sunday shows how music has shaped the requiem over 500 years. John Bridcut explores the significance and history of one of the oldest musical forms and discusses its enduring appeal with some of its greatest exponents.
The great requiems of Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi and Fauré have been rooted in the Latin requiem mass of the Roman Catholic Church. But now, thanks to Brahms and Britten, the requiem has spread into other Christian traditions, producing some of the finest classical music ever written.
This feature-length documentary has specially-shot musical performances by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales (conducted by Edward Gardner), with sopranos Elin Manahan Thomas and Annemarie Kremer, and bass-baritone Neal Davies. It also features the choir Tenebrae, conducted by Nigel Short. Contributors include the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the conductors Sir Colin Davis and Jane Glover, and the bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.